Dutch farmer protests and the nitrogen problem

Interview with Dr Oane Visser

Dr Oane Visser, associate professor in agrarian, food and environmental studies, was interviewed about the current Dutch farmer protests and the government policy to reduce livestock numbers to address nitrogen pollution. 

Speaking on the South-Korean national radio TBS eFM for its 'This Morning' programme, Visser discussed the causes of the nitrogen problem, the slow progress of the policy to buy out livestock farmers, limitations of addressing the nitrogen problem with technology and alternative policies such as enhance support for farmers transitioning to organic farming.

Oane Visser

He explains the causes of Dutch nitrogen pollution, pointing to the huge number of livestock and the pollution caused by an excess of manure (agriculture is responsible for 50% of nitrogen production).

He notes that the Netherlands has one of the worst levels of biodiversity in the whole of the European Union due to this.

Visser goes on to explain the €25 billion government plan to reduce the number of livestock in the Netherlands and the slow progress in implementing this plan due to resistance by farmers.

Ultimately, however, Visser feels that the only solution is to move to less intense livestock production and to more organic agricultural processes.

Listen to the interview with Dr Visser (at minute 23.22)
Associate professor

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